Through the Lens of Innovation

Olympus U.S. Medical Headquarters
Westborough, MA

As their 100-year anniversary approached, precision technology leaders Olympus sought to consolidate their three locations in Massachusetts into one advanced, highly collaborative headquarters in Westborough. The new 150,000 square feet, four-story campus serves as a hub of med-tech innovation and is Olympus’ U.S. medical headquarters and world headquarters of its therapeutic division. It unifies Olympus’ previously separated in-house expertise under one roof, enhancing their Research and Development (R&D) processes for medical devices while providing a cutting-edge customer experience for medical professionals.

SMMA’s design team guided the client through several changes of scope and helped them appreciate the possibilities presented by a new location. The result is an integrated HQ with innovative lab and manufacturing spaces and range of public amenities that mirror those found at the Olympus America Corporate Headquarters in Center Valley, PA. These amenities include a cafeteria, coffee bar, flexible dining area, fitness center, and a full-service daycare – plus walking paths and easy access to nearby biking trails.

Original base building drawing of Olympus' new Westborough HQ

SMMA's base-building team worked on several concepts for the new Olympus headquarters. This included designs that allowed for future expansion via an addition to the main structure on its eastern side.

Designed for People

The new building makes clever use of colors and materials inspired by Olympus’ recent True to Life campaign, which focuses heavily on people and lifestyle. Home-like wood finishes feature throughout, from private meeting rooms to bustling café and dining areas. These tones contrast with the striking blue glass behind the reception desk, representative of the larger Olympus brand. Our interior design team was able to utilize a custom pattern system stemming from the very aperture lenses made by Olympus. Color-coded elevator lobbies and themed corridors help achieve visual continuity across each floor.

 

Themed Corridors at Olympus Headquarters Designed by SMMA

  

  • Signage Wayfinding at Olympus HQ designed by SMMA
  • Illuminated lettering saying BREW at Olympus HQ cafe in Westborough, MA
  • Clock Environmental Design at Olympus HQ designed by SMMA
Open atrium on second floor in Olympus Massachusetts HQ

Elevating the Customer Experience

Our designers were conscious of one of the main purposes of the new HQ: To provide a place to train and receive feedback from doctors and users of Olympus’ products. As such, the first and second floors are tailored to resonate with visiting clients and customers, as well as employees. Once inside, visitors are immediately engaged in a catered customer service route. Next to the sleek, white reception desk, a colorful two-story string installation calls attention to activity within the lab and R&D spaces on the second floor. Further along, a large experience wall displays the company’s brand messaging and core values through a Value Wheel created by SMMA’s graphic design team.

  

Employee wellbeing is addressed by a full-service daycare, fitness center, training area, café, and dining area. These spaces were thoughtfully designed and located by SMMA’s integrated team of base-building architects, interior designers, and engineers with the goal of shaping the building structure around programming needs. The training and dining areas, for example, use adaptable seating types that serve as collaboration spots for employees.

  

  • Glass entrance to new Olympus headquarters with welcoming view of interior

There was a real desire to have a very transparent entry … not just for the employees – who are obviously incredibly important – but also for the doctors, nurses, and technicians to really understand what Olympus is about.

Jonathan Merin

SMMA Corporate & Commercial Studio Lead

Lab at Olympus Corporation Headquarters designed by SMMA

Showcasing Innovation

On the second floor, a mock operating room offers a unique space for medical students to receive world-class training. The room is fully integrated with Olympus technology, including the company’s own virtual video system that allows doctors and technicians to participate in live surgery while off-site. Cutting-edge lab and R&D spaces take up most of the second floor, including an unusually wide range of dry and wet labs.

Private work stations and breakout area at Olympus headquarters

A New Office Standard

The third and fourth floors are dedicated to office space that strives to create a new workplace standard. SMMA’s design team increased the ratio of meeting spaces to private offices to reinforce an open office environment and foster collaboration – a feature sorely lacking in Olympus’ three former offices in Massachusetts. Throughout the building, environmental graphics celebrate Olympus’ core values and remind employees of what drives their work empowers them as scientists.

 

The overall design and engineering behind the offices ensures that the rooms and workstations are of equal size. This will make it easier for Olympus to modify the number of workstations and collaboration spaces as departments grow or shrink. Furthermore, the design also accounts for certain acoustical and privacy needs by using strategic and flexible furniture arrangements.

Engineered for Excellence

The new headquarters boasts several energy-saving features. It utilizes the latest LED technology to perform 30% more efficiently than standard energy code requirements. On every floor, light dimmers and daylight sensors help to lower energy use. These systems are flexible by nature to support the varying office, lab, and amenity space code requirements. 

Our mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) experts solved two challenges relating to electrical systems. The first was the presence of large glass walls throughout the labs – this is solved by utility panels installed on the ceiling in a symmetrical grid. Meanwhile, downstairs in the building’s data center, a plug-in bus duct system demounts and moves different devices. Both systems can be modified for the future needs of their respective spaces.

Mechanically, each lab space is fitted with supplemental systems that fulfill temperature, humidity, exhaust, and safety requirements. Similar systems are provided for the building’s first floor amenities, such as the daycare and kitchen. Additionally, a lab waste system featuring pH neutralization serves the second-floor lab fixtures, while Small Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems provide the building’s pure water needs.

“Every conversation has been made easy by SMMA’s availability and expertise. There is no better way to exemplify the Olympus brand and our company values than this incredible new building on our 100th Anniversary.”

Steven Wereley

Global Corporate Real Estate Lead, Olympus Corporation